Michigan is rich in hunting heritage and hunters have many options to tackle game in the forests. One tool Michigan hunters can use is hunting dogs in certain circumstances. Hunters should keep the following regulations in mind when hunting with dogs.
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Hunting Black Bear
Hunters can use dogs to hunt black bear if they follow the dog limit. A maximum of six dogs can be used to hunt bear and a permit is required for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Dogs must be current on their vaccinations, wear identification, and be current on their license in order to qualify for a DNR permit.
Hunters age 10 years and older pursuing bear with dogs during an open season are required to have in their possession either a valid Michigan bear hunting license or a no kill tag license if in possession of a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow; or if they are the owner of any dog used for chasing or locating bear during the hunt. Dog training is not permitted on a captive, tethered, or caged bear.
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Off leash dogs/free running dogs are not permitted in state game areas or wildlife areas during the nesting seasons of birds. This traditionally takes place from mid-April to early July.
Gamebird Hunting on State Preserves
Dogs must be confined to the hunting preserve at all times. If live ammunition is being used in conjunction, a license is required outside of the gamebird preserve license. Hunters are only permitted to take animals listed on the gamebird preserve license if they do not have a regular license.
Dogs are not permitted to hunt deer, but can be used to track a wounded animal. The state law passed in 1998 allows hunters to use leash dogs under their control to track wounded deer.
Dogs that bark are not permitted to be used on public land. Bow hunters are most likely to benefit from the use of dogs trailing wounded deer as the animal often runs out of sight before it dies.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.
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